I would like a bike route going from Camas, WA to Onalaska, WA. I would like something that is the shortest distance with as few streets and turns as possible. Both the routes I find at Google Maps and Mapquest have about 4 dozen different roads. I am not kidding, see for yourself.

I would also like to print this out in such a way that I can mark each 5 mile point. I want to know when I have hit 5 miles, then 10, then 15, all the way up to 90. Finally I would like to avoid the freeway as much as possible, especially since it is probably not legal for me to travel on parts of it via bicycle.

If there is a printed map I should buy for this instead, please provide the details, including where I can buy it online, and if it is not available to buy online, where I can buy it in the Vancouver, Washington area.

Thank you!

  • 1
    What do you expect? You are going through a couple towns and parallel I5 for most of route. You cannot go on I5 and there are not going to be convenient parallel routes. You are lucky to have 30 for that first segment. What is stopping you from marking each 5 miles point on Google maps / route? As for pre printed maps just go to the store and buy them. You would need city and county maps.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 10, 2015 at 15:12
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    You know that Google Maps has a bike route option, right? This will automatically avoid restricted roads and high-traffic routes. Sep 10, 2015 at 17:36
  • I used the Google Maps Bike Route, which should have been clear in my post.
    – DreamBliss
    Sep 10, 2015 at 23:04

4 Answers 4


Like Gary said, finding something that does exactly what you want may be difficult. However, I like to use ridewithgps.com to plan my routes. It's optimized for cycling routes (so keeps you off freeways and can use bike paths if available) and you can have distance markers and points of interest markers along the way.

I only use the basic plan. Their paid plans may have some extra tools that might be useful for your needs.

Here's an example Camas to Onalaska.

  • That's the best answer so far. Thank you!
    – DreamBliss
    Sep 10, 2015 at 23:02

In general, I don't think there is a tool right now that does exactly what you want, but you can get close. It sounds like you tried Google Maps, and hopefully when you did you clicked on the Bike Route option to see the suggested route. That is not going to minimize the different roads and turns because it is optimized for safer, lower-speed roads. One nice thing about the Google Maps bike route tool is that the printable directions/details are formatted very much like the route tip sheets I make for myself when going for longer rides in new areas.

You can also use veloroutes.com to create your own routes, see elevation profiles, export to google earth and create the same google maps navigation directions mentioned above. You can also search veloroutes.com by location to see if anyone has a route like yours. A search for Camus turned up this route for instance (not quite what you are looking for but it give you an idea of what you can generate).

For your specific starting point and destination you may want to check with your local bike shops for any Washington specific route maps or publications. The sports or travel sections of your local library or bookstore are another good place to look for books or maps that have long-distance cycling routes.

You are in luck for part of your route though - The section from just north of Toledo to a little west of Longview sits on the Adventure Cycling Pacific Coast Trail. Adventure Cycling routes and maps are some of the best I have encountered. The maps can be a bit pricey, but are well worth it for their detail. They typically show convenience stores, bike shops and rest/camping areas.

There are other Adventure Cycling Routes in Washington and all over the US.

  • I appreciate the tip about the Adventure Cycling Routes.
    – DreamBliss
    Sep 10, 2015 at 23:03

Try the Strava route planner. http://www.strava.com/ and you install an app on a iphone or android phone. It will give you a moving map while riding showing you where you are, and where the turns are.

The route planner can be told to "prefer popular roads" or to minimise distance or minimise elevation change. Plus you can get a "global heatmap" that shows you where other people bike.

Its free to use, with some payware features for people doing training. I've used the free side for a year now.

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    Update 2017: you can manually plan or override the route, and export to gpx, print a route card, or print a map.
    – Chris H
    Jun 8, 2017 at 10:34

Of course a routing application can only do so much, but http://brouter.de/brouter-web/ is great and you can adjust the parameters (e.g. penalities for turning, elevation, primary streets, tracks etc.).

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